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 Feedback Requested: SPAR
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Helen Jean Harris
Valued Contributor

Mesa, AZ
USA
149 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2005 :  12:16:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just had an interesting experience with the DM in AZ this week. I applied for some demo's in the Mesa, AZ area. I was contacted and given weekend work through Dec. I was given a logon id and password. I went into the system printed off much of the new merchandiser information then read it. I then emailed questions which is exactly what I was told to do.. Then I find out I wasn't really hired ongoing but just for these 2 demo's therefore, a lot of the online new merchandiser information did not apply to me. Would have liked to have known that up front, but instead was told to go through the information. I did the IC contract online and the tax forms online; however, at that time did not print them. Then when I was online I could not find them again. So I asked more questions as to why I could not find them to reread... I was told they'd have to mail them to me.

Then in this forum I was reading about the 3% a paycheck, by the way, workman's compensation.. Well, when I asked about that I was told by the DM how jealous others were of SPAR. I had made it clear I was not questioning the company just the 3% out of EACH paycheck. It's called an administration fee. He explained it is AZ law and if I got hurt I would be covered. I questioned the need since I signed an IC contract. He decided since I was not convinced SPAR is a good company we should part ways. I just replied I was sorry my questions threatened him.. I needed clarification on many items and of course anyone would want to understand the 3% out of each pay.

So I really don't know why they actually charge this fee. I am now looking for more work in AZ than previously because we live here full time now.. What little work I have done in AZ in the past never required this fee. I did ask if this was a new law to, but again just ignored. I checked with a company I work for often and they said they never charge this and to their knowledge no law changes in AZ.

Anyway, I won't answer any SPAR requests again. I've been doing this work 4 years never lost a job for asking questions or for any reason actually.
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Stacy1
Contributor

Billerica, MA
USA
76 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2005 :  10:03:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think that of all the merchandising companies out there Spar is at the bottom of the barrel. Most of the merchandisers who consider themselves to be professionals in the business will not even bother with this company. I think the reason the pay is so low is because the company is mismanaged at the top. Rumors abound in the industry about Spar's headquarters in Tarrytown NY. I had one DM who told me she interviewed with Spar's headquarters when she was job hunting and the Spar employee who was interviewing her pulled her aside in a confidence and said "Believe me you do not want to work for this company." She went on to say she was quitting soon and working for the company was the worst experience of her life! They also apply unprincipled tactics like spying on other merchandising companies and trying to trick clients into working with them (most reputable clients will not be represented by them.)I've been in this business for over ten years and believe me they are a company to avoid.

Stacy
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DGenoway
Contributor

Lindale, TX
USA
58 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2005 :  12:56:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Oh no! I just read the posts for this company. The lady from SPAR called me at home last night. I accepted a toy demo for them the weekend of Thanksgiving. She was very nice, but now I am reconsidering whether I want to work for them or not. The pay is $8.00 per hour with an extra $1.00 per hour bonus - total $54.00 if I turn the paperwork in one time. Time is 11-5.

Please help!

Debbie
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Sharon Allen
Member

Sheffield, AL
USA
16 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  07:57:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Spar is not a bad group, they're just not the best. Their website is tricky to navigate, and some jobs are unclear,(with a little diligence and patience, you can figure it out!), they do not pay as much as most, but the jobs are usually not too complicated, the paperwork just makes it seem complicated. My co-ordinator is very nice, I keep her number handy when going into a store. It is a good job for the experience, as the jobs are alot of up-dates and the like. The new store set-ups pay more than just the regular jobs with Spar. I am with them right now... I also am with other companies, as I cannot make it with just one company. As we all are, I am always talking to people and looking for better, hopefully permanent, jobs that have "benies". It would be sooo nice to have health insurance again!!

Sharon S. Allen
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Helen Jean Harris
Valued Contributor

Mesa, AZ
USA
149 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  6:42:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Don't waste your time on $8 an hour jobs especially with this company because you can do much better and get much better training.
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JenJo
Apprentice

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2005 :  5:33:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, I read all the posts in this thread and decided to go to work for SPAR anyway and boy was that a mistake.
Just before I was hired they had a change in DM for my area which I didn't find out until yesterday. I was told I would get trained and got one hour of training. I didn't get supplies I needed because the DM didn't send them to me and then I got yelled at for not doing the job. I was called a "cry baby" because I told them when I quit that I wasn't getting support from them. It took me a week to figure out there website. I quit last Monday and they still want me to work for them. They are offering to give me more money (not enough to make the headache worth it).

Be careful of this company. I should have heeded all your warnings.
Jennifer
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DGenoway
Contributor

Lindale, TX
USA
58 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2005 :  09:32:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
JenJo,

I am so sorry you had the trouble. I am glad that I did not work for them after all. I have found a much better company and have already done two jobs for them. They are super sweet, pay fast, and the jobs are great.

This forum is the greatest!

Debbie
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Suza
Member

St. Louis, MO
USA
39 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2005 :  05:57:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have been with Spar for almost a year, I have a great DM and great local support. I have heard that your DM will determine your relationship with this company. Most of my jobs pay much more that $8 an hour once you add in the weekly access fee. My last paycheck was $70 for 5.25 hours of actual work.
I really like this job a lot because I can do it when I want to and it is guaranteed regular work....which means I am guaranteed regular pay.

Suza
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Brenda C
Member

Aberdeen, NJ
USA
30 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  4:40:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I, too, like this company, I've been with them for 5+ years. I usually work with another merchandiser, and I just help out when there is a need for a second merchandiser. We do cosmetic resets in February for a major drug store chain in NJ. I haven't done much of anything else for them. I also question the 'admin fee', but I hope it really is for workmen's comp. I also get more than $8/hour, and a generous access fee.

Shopping Jersey!
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Irina
Trainee

Fredericksburg, VA
USA
7 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  3:04:24 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
They advertise a big reset project in my area, giftwap/cosmetic reset, team work, 4 days at 10 hours/day. I am hesitant because of the 10 hours on my feet, not sure my feet will be able to sustain me for so long. They also promise premium pay.
I do not have any reset/planogram experience at all amd want to apply just to get my feet wet and be able to mark those two on my other merhandising applications.
I read earlier posts and see that Annette was in the similar situation. I wonder how I went for you, Annette?
I know they are not the best around, but the only ones that might give me the experience I need in my immediate area.
On the other hand, those 10 hours on my feet...
Any comments?
Irene
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LoriJennings
Star Contributor

Dallas, TX
USA
287 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  3:27:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
10 hours a day on your feet is hard to get used to. (I did the 10 hour a day thing for seven days straight before having a day off at a remodel job for a well known drug store chain. For about the first 2 weeks, I had to take Aleve every day about halfway through to stop the pain in my feet. IOh my aching feet. Ieventually got used to it. A decent pair of comfortable sneaker/tennis shoes are a MUST. Also, you will be around dust and will get dirty. You will be using your mind to set the planogram correctly. (esp. cosmetics, which are one of the most tedious sets you can possibly do.)In addition, you will be using body to move shelves, fixtures, boxes, unload stuff from a truck doing these types of resets. They're not for the faint of heart. If you can get through it, you will be able to do any future resets with ease.
Watch out because Spar will try to pay you as little as they can get away with no matter if you have any experience or not.
Oh, and about the premium pay, I would get the amount you will be paid upfront and in writing. Good Luck.
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DennisM
Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  4:09:10 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My wife and I recently worked on a project for Spar here in southern AZ. It was actually my second time working with the same small team of full time Spar employees. They obviously like their jobs and are nice people to work with. The last time I worked with these same people was nearly a year ago. The pay was good, maybe a little above average for our area. We did work 10 hour days. The work we did, setting up a new store, is so straight forward that it's some of the most boring work in merchandising. It's also very physically demanding.

My suggestion for Irina is that if you aren't sure you can handle the work it's better for both you and the team if you "get your feet wet" somewhere else first. It's not just being on your feet, there's a lot of bending, stooping, crouching and kneeling. There's plenty of work around, even for inexperienced people. We meet a lot of semi-retired people doing merchandising, but we seldom see them on these more difficult schedules. It would probably be better to start with shorter jobs and work your way up to this sort of schedule. Your feet, knees and back will thank you. Cosmetics is also not the best choice for a complete beginner because they can be fairly complex sets.

The is a large company with the potential for a lot of repeat business. If you take the job and find out you can't handle it this one project could be the last time they're willing to hire you. My experience is that if you go in and show them you can do the work they will call you again. Their situation is such that we're expecting to get a lot more work from them later this year.

D Murry
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Karen A.
Star Contributor

Hudson, NC
USA
297 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2006 :  2:37:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Irene I hope you didn't take that reset.Even with exp. it was hard and yes time allotments are not sufficient for the amount of work.It was a hassle to get paid for time over the limit.They did pay and they pay on time.As long as you don't encounter any problems you will get along great with this co. if you do have problems expect rude emails.Speaking of emails they drown you in them.Training could be better.

Karen A.
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Gail-V
Valued Contributor

New Haven, CT
USA
108 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2006 :  8:05:24 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My 2 cents worth,
I couldn't afford to start my car for $8 an hr.
Typically $12 per hr is the going rate, at least here in the NE and/or drive time and mileage.
I worked very briefly for Spar, maybe 3 weeks. Out of all the assignments they gave me and said they were way overdue only b1 worked out. When i got to the resets they were already done. Management said they waited so long they did it themselves.
I did charge them for the drive time and 4hrs of work because it wasn't my fault. i showed up.
they paid quickly as I recall.
Just seems to be a terrible lack of communication and unorganized.
I remember 1 job restickering a drug store they thought it could be done in 8 hrs. 3 peopke worked it and could barely be done in 3 days.
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Karen A.
Star Contributor

Hudson, NC
USA
297 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2006 :  6:50:21 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I wish I had read all these posts before I ever did any work for this company.Since last posting (maybe why) I am no longer with them. Of course they can't just come right out and say that. They just said
" I just figured dvds aren't for you, you will be considered for other assignments".Don't tell it to the 10 stores I do dvds for that I replaced SPAR with

Karen A.
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JanieWilson
Contributor

atlanta, georgia
USA
57 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2006 :  10:51:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Stay away from SPAR. They will not stop calling and emailing. They expect way to much for a little $8 hours. You can and will find better. I wouldnt mess with this company. You are better off to skip it and find something else. I thought I would take a job just to get some experience. Well it was horrible. I am glad I took other jobs, because if this was my only merchandising job I think I would have gave up before I found others.
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Karen A.
Star Contributor

Hudson, NC
USA
297 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2006 :  1:28:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Janie you are so rightThanks for the supporting words.I did feel kind of bad about it at first but I realize my attention needs to be on the companies that do appreciate my efforts.

Karen A.
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Gail-V
Valued Contributor

New Haven, CT
USA
108 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2006 :  11:19:06 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Got a call from Spar today. Lots of work in my area
then i was quoted a price of $10.50 an hr.
I told her I could not possibly work for less than 12 she sent me an email sayibg she was trying to get approval for $12
Seriously, don't lose these Comp. that want to pay nothing.
With gas prices being what they are it's better for me to stay home.
Problem is there are people that will do it for that low pay. If every one just said no they'd have to step up.
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Laurence-MA
Member

MA
USA
42 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2006 :  05:33:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the tip to stay away, I always see postings for them and often wondered. There are quite a few that post constantly like them, must be they can't keep people or the jobs are just not worth the money they pay. 8 bucks huh, I could flip burgers and make more, no requirement to speak or know english and no paper work to download and fax as well.
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Karen A.
Star Contributor

Hudson, NC
USA
297 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2006 :  4:53:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Has anyone lost their SPAR assignments from posting on this forum?

Karen A.
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